The point is the point or lack thereof

Gonzaga Bulldogs
Nolan Hickman (picture by Steve Chen through flickr)

The Gonzaga Bulldogs are battling so considerably this time. Quite a few of their challenges have to do with issue guard play.

Sunday evening, the Gonzaga Bulldogs narrowly beat Kent Condition 73-66 at the McCarthy Athletic Centre. With that victory, the 18th-ranked Zags enhanced their history to 6-3 this time.

That opening paragraph need to scare the tar out of Gonzaga followers. Let us split it down.

First, the Bulldogs not only narrowly beat Kent Point out at residence, but they had to arrive from behind to do it. They trailed 66-62 with 3:41 remaining in the activity. No offense to the Golden Flash supporters, but Kent State doesn’t belong in the identical time zone as Gonzaga.

18th rated? The final time GU was rated as minimal as quantity 18 in the polls was on January 1, 2018. That’s just about five calendar many years.

At last, the Zags improved to 6-3. To place that stat in point of view, the final time Gonzaga lost 3 of 9 was between November 24 – December 21, 2017. They hadn’t dropped that numerous online games to open a period since 2015.

Items are far from sunshine and rainbows in Spokane.

Some why at the rear of the what

Everyone who has viewed them play this season can effortlessly decide out their flaws. Much too numerous turnovers, negative in transition, and struggles versus actual physical groups all lead to the team’s downfall. But what it will come down to is their play at issue guard.

Gonzaga Bulldogs enthusiasts have been spoiled in latest yrs by some fantastic point guards. Gamers these types of as Kevin Pangos, Josh Perkins, Jalen Suggs, and Andrew Nembhard not only ran the offense but controlled the speed of the video game.

Not up to pace

This isn’t necessarily a putdown of present-day level guard Nolan Hickman. But the effects converse for on their own. Even just after observing Suggs up shut and playing caddy for Nembhard, Hickman doesn’t have the exact same on-court docket existence as his predecessors.

What desires to be asked is: are his shortcomings due to potential or self-assurance? On the means side, Hickman has unsuccessful to impress with either his capturing or his passing as the starting place guard.

A single matter that could possibly assistance him is if he attacked the basket off the dribble each individual now and then. Having the ball to the rack would continue to keep defenders genuine. As an alternative of what takes place now, when defenses can sit back again and hold out for him to move the ball to Drew Timme.

His on court leadership also requires some perform. The Gonzaga Bulldogs are careless with the ball, which qualified prospects to way too many turnovers. Their 14.6 turnovers for each game this year is the most given that Mark Couple of turned Gonzaga’s head coach in 1999.

Speaking of careless, the Bulldogs are dreadful in changeover and normally operate the flooring like an out of control practice. Gonzaga lacks a ball handler who can settle the group down and get them into their halfcourt sets.

Regretably, the response is not really very clear. Possibly Hickman requires to step up his match, or Several requirements to put the ball in anyone else’s fingers.

The initially scenario is more very likely than the second. Gonzaga’s other possibilities have a even worse aid-to-turnover ratio than Hickman does.

Gonzaga Bulldogs: Zags 360 – A preventable loss

Do you think the Gonzaga Bulldogs have a difficulty at issue guard?